Commentary: North Korea’s nuclear programme is about Kim Jong Un, not a new law

Commentary: North Korea’s nuclear programme is about Kim Jong Un, not a new law

It’s certainly more stressing now that the regime is talking freely about possible preemptive strikes. But has it increased the likelihood that will North Korea might press the red switch first ?   Probably not, so long as Betty Jong Un is within power.


Less surprising is definitely North Korea’s rejection (again) of denuclearisation. Pyongyang has said often in the last decade that nuclear weapons are its right plus non-negotiable. They are consistently referred to in press statements and Kim’s annual address towards the nation.

Their particular utility, both military and political, are extremely high.

Although it is the most militarised state in the world, North Korea’s armed forces are usually conventionally obsolete.

Nuclear weapons possess a large, obvious worth. They level what is otherwise a very bumpy conventional playing industry. And indeed, the Northern Koreans have started to develop low-yield, “tactical” nuclear weapons just for battlefield use to firm up their weakening standard capabilities.

But nuclear weapons are more valuable politically towards the regime. Without them, the world would ignore North Korea. The government would have little to show its people for any their sacrifice and privation, especially after a health crisis plus economic hardship arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just times after the new law was announced, Northern Korea featured the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles for the first time on new propaganda posters .